Biblical references to some of the most complex social issues.
Marriage was initiated by God and is between one man and one woman united in a single bond for life.
Marriage partners are to leave all others and cleave to each other. Genesis 2:24 states: For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall be-come one flesh.
Marriage is for procreation. Genesis 1:28 says: And God blessed them; and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it. Children are to be born of parents who are married to each other. The home is the basic unit of society and is ordained of God.
Marriage is also required to avoid fornication. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5: But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfil his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Divorce Part 1
It must be stated straight off, that God hates divorce: Malachi 2:16 and that Jesus said that it was only because of the peoples’ “hardness of heart” that God allowed divorce for reasons other than adultery (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Jesus explained this as recorded in Matthew 19:8.
Since the time of Jesus, God allows only two reasons for the dissolution of a marriage and one reason for separation which may be able to be extended into a general principle.
The first reason is obvious — the death of one of the marriage partners.
Romans 7:2-3 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
Divorce Part 2
The second reason is adultery (fornication) on the part of one of the marriage partners.
Matthew 5:31-32. It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of di-vorce. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual im-morality, makes her commit adultery, Matthew 19:9, which is also repeated in Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.
The reason for separation appears in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 and is this; If the unbelieving party, man or woman, separates him/herself from the believing party on account of Christian faith, and in hatred to it, and will not live with the believer unless Christ is denied; let him/her depart. How-ever, this is clearly a separation and not a divorce because Jesus states very clearly that the only reason for divorce, apart from the death of a spouse, is adultery (fornication).
Divorce Part 3
1 Corinthians 7:12-16 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a hus-band who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy be-cause of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Paul makes the point that God wants the marriage relationship not to be one of enslavement and this could possibly allow for separation when one of the marriage partners is subject to habitual abuse either physical or mental. Please note that this is separation and not divorce consequently, no partner has the right to re-marry.
Re-marrying after Divorce
The right to re-marry only applies to those whose marriage has been dissolved for either of the two God-allowed reasons: death and adultery. For all other reasons by which there has been a separation; re-marriage is not acceptable to God.
Homosexuality Part 1
Homosexuality, the practise and thought is condemned by God as it is a violation of His original creation: one man and one woman united in the bond of marriage for procreation for life, which He declared to be; very good (Genesis 1:31).
Homosexuality Part 2
Old Testament scripture condemning homosexuality:
Genesis 18:16-19:29 gives the account of the Lord’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous (Genesis 18:20) and that their sin was one of homosexuality is shown by the fact that when two men (angels) visited Abraham’s nephew Lot, who lived in Sodom with his wife and two daughters; all of the men from every part of the city of Sodom both young and old surrounded the house (Genesis 19:4-5) so that they could pack-rape Lot’s two male visitors. As a consequence, God destroyed both cities and the practise of homosexuality has become known as sodomy.
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
Homosexuality Part 3
New Testament scripture condemning homosexuality:
Paul writing to the Romans under the influence of God’s Holy Spirit states that people are with-out excuse for not believing in the Creator God because the whole created world reveals Him so clearly that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Since they have rejected God, His wrath is to abandon them to their sins. Of the 20 plus sins listed (Romans 1:26-32); homosexuality is the first: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natu-ral sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural rela-tions with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were jus-tified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Please note verse 11; all of these ongoing practises are an offence to God and would prevent the offender from inheriting the kingdom of God. But since such people have desisted from these practises and have been justified through their belief/faith in Christ they now can enter the king-dom of God.
1 Timothy 1:9-11:
Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.
Please Note, for those people who want to be released from the enslavement of homosexuality, there is hope: There is no sin so great that Jesus cannot forgive, because He has already paid the penalty with His sacrificial death on the cross. Through faith in Him and seeking his help, he will provide the means for you to break free. There are also, people who are willing to help you see:
Abortion Part 1
The Bible makes clear that even a fetus in its mother’s womb is a person:
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? (Job 31:15).
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you be-cause I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
This is what the LORD says, he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you…(Isaiah 44:2).
Abortion Part 2
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:3-4).
And now the LORD says he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honoured in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
Abortion Part 3
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:41-42, 44).
Clearly, abortion is murder.
But what happens if you have had an abortion already and are racked with guilt? See “forgiveness of sins” in the next section.
Forgiveness of Sins
There is no sin that you can commit that is beyond God’s forgiveness for those who are truly sorry, repent and ask for His forgiveness, because Jesus Christ has paid the penalty already, for your sins:
Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)
I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquit-ted. (Isaiah 43:25-26)
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus … (Romans 8:1)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all un-righteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Raising Children Part 1
The most often used biblical quote on raising children is: Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
How do you train a child in the way he should go? The Bible supplies the answer with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17):
1. Teach the child to know and worship God.
2. Teach the child not to worship any other person or object.
3. Teach the child to work diligently — commandment number 4 says in part; six days shall you work.
4. Teach the child to honour (respect) his/her father and mother.
5. Teach the child not to murder, commit adultery, steal or tell lies. Jesus extends these com-mandments to include the intents of a person’s heart (Matthew 5:21-22; 5:27-28).
6. Teach the child not to covet (desire) anyone else’s property.
Raising Children Part 2
The other biblical quotation often used is: spare the rod and spoil the child or more correctly: He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him (Proverbs 13:24). If a child is not disciplined, he/she will become unruly and will eventually be disciplined by society and in most cases this will be much more severe.
The Bible does not condemn people being wealthy; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Solomon were all wealthy. But it does condemn the love of money or anything else for that matter that people put before/in place of, God. Jesus said that a person cannot love both money and Him.
This was true of the Rich Young Ruler whose story is recorded in Mark 10:17-31. God also expects us to be wise, prudent, and generous with the money He has blessed us with. He also expects us to give at least 10% of it back for His work. Some other relevant verses follow:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be de-voted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24)
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced them-selves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. (Proverbs 23:4-5)
God created mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). So each human life possesses the im-age of God. All human life belongs to God. It is never our place to take our own life or someone else’s life. Paul tells the Corinthian church:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have re-ceived from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
God has a plan and a purpose for each person’s life:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Personal problems both great and small
Pray about everything, worry about nothing which is the advice Paul gives in Philippians.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Jesus bids us to lay all of our worries and concerns on Him because He cares for us. We need to do this through prayer. Anyone who is weighed down by troubles should tell them to Jesus; get down on your knees and pour your heart out to Him. He cares and He is all-powerful.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Love your enemies
Jesus makes it very clear how Christians should treat other people, especially those who may be regarded as enemies.
You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than oth-ers? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)